• Question: Do you have a favourite planet or part of space and why do you like it?

    Asked by 858speq38 to Stephen on 6 Mar 2019.
    • Photo: Stephen O'Connor

      Stephen O'Connor answered on 6 Mar 2019: last edited 6 Mar 2019 1:57 pm

      My favourite planet is Earth – I guess that is an obvious answer but it is the one we know the most about. It is our home!
      The diversity of living species here is incredible – from the tiniest microbial life living in ice sheets at the north pole to the tigers and monkeys in the jungles found across the world.
      I love the natural landscapes and amazing processes that exist here – deserts, volcanoes, jungles, the Burren, the oceans, the Arctic, beaches, lakes, rivers and so much more. One of my favourite shows to watch is Planet Earth – it is just incredible and has taught me so much about our planet.
      There was an amazing photograph of Earth taken by a satellite called Voyager 1 in 1990 from a distance of 6 billion kilometers. The photo is called the Pale Blue Dot. It shows us how tiny our planet is in the vastness of space, how special and beautiful it is, and why it is important we do our best to look after our home.
      Check out the article on it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_Blue_Dot
      Looking beyond our Solar System, my favourite part of space would be a small region that the Hubble Space Telescope took a photograph of in 1995 – called the Hubble Deep Field. When we look at the night sky with our eyes we see lots of stars. If we use a telescope we see a lot more – there are billions of them in the Milky Way galaxy. Between stars there appears to be dark patches of sky. Instead of looking at stars and other galaxies, astronomers wanted to look at one of these dark patches, to see if there was something there. Indeed there was – thousands of galaxies! It showed us how big the Universe is and that we have so much more to learn about it.
      Check out this cool video about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95Tc0Rk2cNg